Raphael Muller, Zoetis: Looking past the pandemic, preparing for 2022
As the world slowly makes its way out of the COVID 19 pandemic, among the things that fleet managers should have learned from the hardships faced during the prolonged crisis is the need for flexibility in their operations and the importance of strengthening their relationships with suppliers.
This is according to Raphael Muller who is fleet specialist for animal pharmaceuticals company Zoetis. He manages approximately 700 vehicles - both benefit cars for executives and operational vehicles for its sales force - in Latin America for the US-based company.
Although Mr. Muller directly manages the company’s fleet in three countries, he provides administrative support to Paula Diniz Oliveira (Global Head of fleet) in another 10 Latam countries.
No. of Countries managed
Three (Brazil, Mexico, Chile)
No. of Employees
No. of Vehicles
approx. 700 (in the three countries)
During the pandemic, the main challenge for Zoetis just like many other companies was to maintian a firm hold of its ongoing projects all while keeping its fleet afloat. This not only called for maintaining quality service but efficiently guiding all drivers through this difficult time and making sure they are kept safe and sound.
In terms of operations, “we reviewed all of our projects and then made appropriate changes. This called for flexibility such as altering deadlines as well as issuing charge cards or using mobile app platforms for fuel usage management,” says Mr. Muller.
With the latter, our drivers were kept safer amidst the health crisis as they no longer had physical contact with employees at fuel stations, he adds.
One of the main opportunities coming out of all these tough times is that Zoetis really had a chance to review all of its activities and then think of ways to do the same thing but in a different and better way.
Another key factor of getting through the crisis, according to the executive, is building better relationships with suppliers.
Mr. Muller focused on suppliers that specifically complied with the security protocols set forth by Zoetis, much of which was directed toward enabling drivers to continue carrying out crucial vehicle maintenance and repairs in a safe manner.
To get through the pandemic, we are maintaining strong alliances with suppliers and negotiating key issues we face so that we can overcome the worst moments. In many cases, this calls for quick and assertive decisions.
As the world comes out of the health crisis, one of the main objectives for Zoetis in Latin America in 2022 is to renew its fleet. The company will likely face some challenges considering the situation we may be in at the time, but the executive said that they are set on being more sustainable next year.
“With a goal to offset our fleet emissions, we will be considering all opportunities so that we can boast a greener fleet in Latin America in the near future,” says the fleet specialist.
Join Global Fleet at the Fleet LatAm Conference on 21 September where Raphael Muller will be speaking more on fleet management, specifically on the use of fleet data to accomplish more optimized and efficient operations.